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Vertical Drop Heroes HD Review

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Vertical Drop Heroes HD has finally arrived on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, developed by Nerdook Productions and disturbed by Digerati Distribution. For those unfamiliar with this title, Vertical Drop Heroes HD (VDH HD) is a procedural platformer RPG hybrid that borrows many elements from the Rogue Legacy styled games that are available, and with a choice of characters to choose from and armed with a variety of skills and traits, players must use their reflexes and skills in order to survive the dangers that may come your way.
Vertical Drop Heroes HD is a brave attempt to polish an old Flash/PC game and re-release it onto the PlayStation 4. The game begins by giving you the choice of three characters or heroes in which to control, and instead of conventional platformers whereby you traverse each level from left to right, Vertical Drop Heroes HD as the name suggests is all about travelling vertically from the top to the bottom. As you progress through each level the object of the game is all about collecting loot, keys, rescuing other heroes to fight by your side as well as finding various other items to power up your abilities in order to fight and survive your way through the 10 enemy filled levels that are on offer. At the end of each level you will find a final boss waiting for our hero at the bottom, which you must defeat in order to gain access to the portal to progress to the next level. There are also side missions available that will be given to you by characters found in the level, but these mainly equate to finding objects, or killing a set number of enemies.
As simple as Vertical Drop Heroes HD sounds there is a catch, and whenever a hero meets his maker and dies, they will never be available to play as again. There are certain heroes that will appear the same with increased stats, however these will have different names, Rather than be called Rubycut, the next character will be Rubycut II, and at the moment I think I'm up to the fourth incarnation. The other catch is that once you die (yes you only have one life), it’s back to the very beginning of the game. Vertical Drop Heroes HD continually carries on by offering another choice of characters and the quest to conquer this game begins all over again. Whilst that may sound like a frustrating gaming adventure of repetitiveness, each level is randomly generated so it’s very unlikely you’ll find yourself playing the exact same levels over and over again. Also progress achieved is not all in vain though as collecting skills and abilities are indefinite and inherited by those newer characters that attempt to succeed where previous heroes have failed. This along with the randomly generated levels alleviates the frustration factor slightly and the more you play and unlock skills and abilities the longer our little heroes fight off death. Early on in the game, your heroes will meet their doom very quickly, however as characters start to build up strength, the semi permadeath nature of the game is slowly forgiven.
In regards to gameplay there is no right or wrong way to tackle each level and if you find yourself forgetting to pick up loot or upgrades, portals or wormholes can be found throughout each level that return you back to the top. There are also bonus' and power ups for not killing any enemies throughout a level, but really where is the fun in that. Combat in the game is relatively simple as auto attack can be turned on in the options screen, and each character has a limited number of daggers or arrows as well as the use of clones to distract those enemies. There is even the option to play local couch co-op split screen and share the adventure with friends, however the lack of online co-op is disappointing. 
Vertical Drop Heroes HD is simple platformer that gamers into the indie genre as well as fans of roguelike games will pick up and enjoy. It’s a solid update to the old flash game originally released over 10 years ago, and had over two million hits. Whilst Vertical Drop Heroes HD won’t keep you occupied for long gaming sessions, it is a good little game to sit down and relax with enough incentive to keep coming back again and again to find that perfect character build to complete the game.  

Score: 7.5/10

Publisher: Digerati Distribution
Developer: Nordook Productions
Ship Date:  15th February 2017 (PS4) 17th February 2017 (XB1) 26th July 2014 (Steam)
Category: RPG Platformer
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam
ESRB: E

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